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Safety Questions Raised After Cyclist Is Killed In Cambridge Crash

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – A man riding a bicycle was killed when he crashed with a tractor trailer in Cambridge’s busy Porter Square at the height of rush hour Wednesday.

The cyclist has been identified as 60-year-old Bernard Lavins of Lexington.

Sadly, locals said they were not surprised. “Basically, if you come through Porter Square on a bicycle, you’re taking your life in your hands,” said Matt Shepard.

Related: Victims’ Families Urge Lawmakers To Make Safer Roads

Before he was identified, a fellow cyclist left flowers by the yellow tape, wondering if it was a friend. “I’m sure this person was that to people. It’s really just sad, because this can be prevented,” said Gabe Wolf.

The scene of a crash in Porter Square that killed a cyclist Wednesday morning. (Photo courtesy Paul Buscemi)

The scene of a crash in Porter Square that killed a cyclist Wednesday morning. (Photo courtesy Paul Buscemi)

It’s a subject that’s come up repeatedly in Cambridge. When another cyclist was killed in Inman Square four months ago, the community discussed how the traffic pattern could be adjusted for safety. On Beacon Hill last January, legislators discussed requiring side guards on trucks, among other possible regulations.

Cambridge City Councilor Jan Devereux says this latest fatality will raise the discussion again. “How we’re designing our streets, the regulations we’re putting in place for trucks, in terms of hours that they travel our streets, and the equipment they have in terms of mirrors, side guards, protections for vulnerable users,” said Devereux.

The Cambridge School Superintendent sent a message to parents saying some students witnessed the accident on the way to school. Councilors were on hand, for any who may have been traumatized by what they saw.

More from Christina Hager

One Comment

  1. Bikers are at Fault Often Too says:

    Why is it inferred from the article the driver was at fault? I’ve seen more than my share of jack@$$ cyclists endangering themselves, picking what laws to abide by and which to ignore.

    1. Pb Brown says:

      Exactly. They failed to mention that the cyclist that was killed in June was found to have been riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal), then darted off it and hit an already-open car door. AKA it wasn’t a motor vehicle’s fault.

    2. Jonathan Ledlie says:

      If you read a bit more closely, you’ll see the article does not actually ascribe fault to anyone. The article mentions separating cars and trucks from bicycles. Saying that does not put the blame on cars: it’s just sensible. The predominant policy that bicycles should “share the road” with cars is inherently unsafe.

    3. Jonathan Ledlie says:

      Also, the comment about riding on the sidewalk being illegal is incorrect. It is banned in specific business districts, but allowed otherwise. Maps of the banned areas are on the City’s web site:

  2. The hurricane says:

    As a motorcyclist, car driver and cyclist I can see this story from both perspectives.

    Drivers – Look around you at all times. Where you can’t see – assume that there IS a cyclist, motorcycle or pedestrian in your blind spots until you can explicitly confirm that there IS NOT.

    Cyclists – Obey all traffic regulations if you are on a road that cars also use. STOP at stop signs, red lights and do not weave in and out of traffic. You are assuming a lot of risk if you do not follow regulations and add variables to a system that actually works pretty well when adhered to.

    Accidents will happen and I do not intend to diminish the tragedy here. Thoughts and Prayers to family and friends.

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